We are ready to confront any water crisis: El-Sisi

State-run daily Al-Ahram quoted Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi as describing the plant, being built near Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea, as the ‘largest project in history’ of water distillation and sewage treatment. (Reuters)
Updated 09 January 2018
0

We are ready to confront any water crisis: El-Sisi

CAIRO: President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said he would not allow a water crisis to happen in Egypt, stressing that the authorities are fully prepared to confront any such problem the country may face.
El-Sisi added that he did not want to talk more about the Egyptian preparations. The Egyptian president was most likely referring to a possible shortage of Egypt’s share of water from the Nile if Ethiopia starts storing water behind its Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam without reaching an agreement with Egypt on the rules of the operation of both the dam and water.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri said during a news conference with his Irish counterpart in Cairo that his country has not received a reply from Ethiopia or Sudan so far to Egypt’s request to involve the World Bank as a neutral party in the stalled negotiations between the three countries on the dam crisis.
Shoukri presented this proposal to the Ethiopian authorities during his visit to Addis Ababa in December last year. “Egypt’s goal is not just to maintain its share of water in the context of the stalled negotiations with Ethiopia and Sudan, but to develop ways to exploit this share and to maximize efficiency in exploiting Egypt’s water shares as well,” El-Sisi said as he inaugurated some construction projects on Monday.
El-Sisi announced that three months ago Egypt started the implementation of the largest cost-effective water treatment and desalination project in its history.
He said the cost of this program exceeds 70 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.96 billion). “Water for agriculture and drinking must be secured for all Egyptians.”
He added that the implementation of these mega projects for water treatment “is not for luxury,” rejecting claims that these projects have no direct benefit for citizens. He stressed that “preventing the occurrence of a water crisis comes first in the interest of the citizen.”
The Egyptian president pointed out that desalination plants being established depend on the triple water treatment technology, and that water treated under such technology has no risk on the citizens’ lives.
On the other hand, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri said Sudan’s decision to withdraw its ambassador for consultation is fully evaluated by Cairo as taking action against this development.
Shukri stressed that Egypt values its relations with Sudan, but that the direction of relations needs to be corrected so that there will be no negative effects on the peoples of the two nations.


US-backed Syria offensive kills 35 Daesh fighters: monitor

Updated 20 October 2018
0

US-backed Syria offensive kills 35 Daesh fighters: monitor

BEIRUT: An offensive by US-backed forces against Daesh’s last redoubt in eastern Syria killed 35 militants on Saturday, a Britain-based war monitor said.
Twenty-eight Daesh members were killed in air strikes by the US-led coalition around the town of Hajjin, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Another seven militants were killed in ground fighting with the Syrian Democratic Forces, who launched a coalition-backed offensive against the Daesh-held pocket in the Euphrates Valley last month.
Fighting has killed 414 militants and 227 SDF fighters in total since the assault began on September 10, the Observatory said.
Coalition air strikes on Daesh targets in another part of the pocket on Thursday and Friday killed at least 41 civilians, 10 of them children, the monitor said.
Daesh overran large swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a “caliphate” across the land it controlled.
But the militant group has since lost most of its territory to various offensives in both countries.
In Syria, its presence has been reduced to parts of the vast Badia desert and the Hajjin pocket in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor near the Iraqi border.
Syria’s war has killed more than 360,000 people since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.